(le) Poisson Rouge

(Le) Poisson Rouge (‘(the) red fish’) is located on 158 Bleecker Street, Manhattan, between Sullivan and Thompson Streets, two blocks south of Washington Square Park.  A relatively new venue,...

(le) Poisson Rouge

Sleigh Bells

(Le) Poisson Rouge (‘(the) red fish’) is located on 158 Bleecker Street, Manhattan, between Sullivan and Thompson Streets, two blocks south of Washington Square Park.  A relatively new venue, it had a quiet opening in June 2008.  It is on the site of the former Village Gate, a famed venue that operated from the late fifties to 1993, and played host to acts ranging from Duke Ellington to The Velvet Underground.  It lies directly south of the main New York University campus and the Union Square-area venues, including Webster Hall and Irving Plaza, and directly west of Bowery-area venues, including Mercury Lounge (or right where the B, D, F & V train lines bend from going north-south to east-west).

The stage floor of (le) Poisson Rouge is located down a flight of stairs (with the walls painted red, just in case you didn’t know what ‘Rouge’ meant…).  The stage is to the immediate left, but sort of comes out of the corner, and isn’t raised that far off the stage floor, making line-of-sight sometimes difficult.  The bar is at the far end – there’s another bar/lounge around the corner of the stage, but only if they open it.  Bathrooms are accessible from the far corner (with a really cool blow-dry hot air machine, where one puts your hands into it).

(Le) Poisson Rouge has inherited from The Village Gate an eclectic mix of acts, ranging from hip-hop to dance/electronica to classical to even ‘family friendly’ bands like They Might Be Giants – but that might have as much to do with the venue wanting to book as many acts as possible.  However, in look and layout, it much more resembles dance/nightclub places such as Highline Ballroom and especially the late Studio B, with an excellent sound system, over-intense light show, weak house lights, prominent DJ booth, loud house music, dark wall paint (black around the stage floor, dark red everywhere else) and a club kid/bridge & tunnel-heavy crowd (maybe not for the classical & family acts…).  Unfortunately, it’s smaller than Studio B or the late Santos Party House, making all these elements seem more extreme, especially if the side bar/lounge area isn’t opened.  The drink prices are average, with a wide selection and taps.  While there were some initial opening pains, it seems to have worked things out.

Capacity: 800


158 Bleecker Street (Between Sullivan and Thompson Streets)

By Subway:

1 & 2 trains to Houston Street – walk 3 blocks east on West Houston, 1 block north on Sullivan, turn right
A, C & E trains to Spring Street – walk 1 block east, 3 blocks north on Sullivan, turn right
A, B, C, D, E, F & M trains to West 4th Street – walk 3 blocks south on 6th Avenue, 2 blocks east on South side of Bleecker
N & R trains to Prince Street – walk 5 blocks west, 2 blocks north on Thompson, turn left
B, D, F & M trains to Broadway-Lafayette Street – walk 6 blocks west on West Houston, 1 block north on Thompson, turn left
4 & 6 trains to Bleecker Street – walk 7 blocks west on South side of Bleecker

QRO Coverage:

-This Is the Kit, October 11th, 2023 – live review, photos

-Mick Flannery, September 26th, 2023 – photos

-Riopy, June 8th, 2023 – photos

-Stars, with Lydia Persaud, December 7th, 2022 – Stars live review, Stars photos, Lydia Persaud photos

-Madison Cunningham, with Courtney Hartman, January 28th, 2020 – Madison Cunningham photos, Courtney Hartman photos

-Peter Murphy, with Vosh, January 24th, 2020 (Tribute to David Bowie) – Peter Murphy photos, Vosh photos

-Thurston Moore Group, with Devin Brahja Waldman, December 5th, 2019 – Thurston Moore Group photos, Devin Brahja Waldman photos

-MC50, with Sharkmuffin, August 29th, 2019 – MC50 photos, Sharkmuffin photos

-Killing Joke, with The Pink Slips, May 15th, 2019 – Killing Joke photos, The Pink Slips photos

-IAMX, May 11th, 2019 – photos

-Oh Land, April 26th, 2019 – live review, photos

-HackedePicciotto, with Eric Hubel, December 6th, 2018 – HackedePicciotto photos, Eric Hubel photos

-The Paper Kites, with Wild Rivers, November 30th, 2018 – The Paper Kites photosWild Rivers photos

-The Horrors, June 13th, 2018 – live review

-Jessie Ware, October 30th, 2017 – photos

-The Joy Formidable, with Phoebe Bridgers, March 1st, 2017 – The Joy Formidable live review, The Joy Formidable photos, Phoebe Bridgers photos

-Slow Club, November 10th, 2016 – photos

-Lera Lynn, November 4th, 2016 – photos

-Frightened Rabbit, October 3rd, 2016 – live review, photos

-Villagers, July 23rd, 2016 – photos

-Born Ruffians, May 4th, 2016 – photos

-Miike Snow, March 3rd, 2016 – photos

-Andra Day, October 20th, 2015 – photos

-Wolf Alice, June 18th, 2015 – photos

-The Maccabees, June 9th, 2015 – photos

-Kevin Devine, with DADS and Field Mouse, March 28th, 2015 – Kevin Devine photos, DADS photos, Field Mouse photos, Kevin Devine backstage photos

-Kat Edmonson, with Robert Ellis, March 3rd, 2015 – Kat Edmonson photos, Robert Ellis photos

-Seinabo Sey, January 27th, 2015 – photos

-S. Carey, April 16th, 2014 – photos

-Grouplove, December 18th, 2013 (Rolling Stone Private Concert Series) – live review

-Sleigh Bells, with JEL, October 5th, 2013 – Sleigh Bells live review, Sleigh Bells photos, JEL photos

-Jones Street Station & The Girls, June 1st, 2013 – photos

-Liars, May 19th, 2013 – photos

-Clinic, with The Cobbs, April 20th, 2013 – Clinic photos, The Cobbs photos

-Here We Go Magic, with Love As Laughter, January 17th, 2013 – Here We Go Magic photos, Love As Laughter photos

-Escort, with Xylos, July 5th, 2012 (CBGB Festival) – CBGB coverage, Escort photos, Xylos photos

-Los Campesinos!, with Yellow Ostrich, June 22nd, 2012 – Los Campesinos! live review, Los Campesinos! photos, Yellow Ostrich photos

-With Lions, with Via Audio, June 15th, 2012 – With Lions photos, Via Audio photos

-School of Seven Bells, with EXITMUSIC, May 5th, 2012 – School of Seven Bells photos, EXITMUSIC photos

-Jones Street Station, with The Girls, April 7th, 2012 – live review, Jones Street Station photos, The Girls photos

-Bush Tetras, with Dive and Delphine Blue, April 6th, 2012 – Bush Tetras photos, Dive photos, Delphine Blue photos

-Bear 54, with The Forms, First Nature, and Luke Folger, April 4th, 2012 (Arthur Russell Tribute) – Bear 54 photos, The Forms photos, First Nature photos, Luke Folger photos

-The Shins, March 7th, 2012 – photos

-Patrick Wolf, September 17th, 2011 – photos

-Laetitia Sadier, with Erika Spring and Arturo En El Barco, June 13th, 2011 – Laetitia Sadier photos, Erika Spring photos, Arturo En El Barco photos

-Bush Tetras, with Sediment Club, June 10th, 2011 – Bush Tetras photos, Sediment Club photos

-The Thermals, with Twin Shadow and Tyvek, May 5th, 2011 – The Thermals photos, Twin Shadow photos, Tyvek photos

-Tricky, December 9th, 2010 – photos

-Badly Drawn Boy, with Justin Jones, December 3rd, 2010 – Badly Drawn Boy photos, Justin Jones photos

-The Autumn Defense, with Sarah Guthrie & Johnny Irion, November 12th, 2010 – The Autumn Defense photos, Sarah Guthrie & Johnny Irion photos

-Mike Doughty, April 23rd, 2010 – live review, photos

-Theophilius London, with Ninjasonik, October 21st, 2009 (CMJ) – CMJ coverage, Theophilius London photos, Ninjasonik photos

-Grand Archives, with The Most Serene Republic, October 8th, 2009 – Grand Archives photos, The Most Serene Republic photos

-Lykke Li & Björn Yttling (of Peter Björn & John) DJing, September 17th, 2009 – photos

-Circulatory System, with Pipes You See, Pipes You Don’t & Nesey Gallons, September 9th, 2009 – Circulatory System photos, Pipes You See, Pipes You Don’t photos, Nesey Gallons photos

-Friendly Fires, with Phenomenal Handclap Band, August 12th, 2009 – Friendly Fires photos, Phenomenal Handclap Band photos

-Dean & Britta, June 6th, 2009 – photos

-Charles Spearin’s Happiness Project, March 15th, 2009 – photos

-Frightened Rabbit, February 2nd, 2009 (all-request show) – live review, photos

-Xiu Xiu, with Judah Friedlander, November 19th, 2008 (‘Bad Art Auction’) – live review, Xiu Xiu photos, Judah Friedlander photos

-Flosstradamus, with Matt & Kim and The Cool Kids, September 16th, 2008 – Flosstradamus photos, Matt & Kim photos, The Cool Kids photos

-Midnight Juggernauts, September 13th, 2008 – photos

Badly Drawn Boy

(le) Poisson Rouge

Click here for the venue’s website

Venue Reviews

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